The remarkable answers to the prayers of Mr. Barrett were numerous and varied. His absolute dependence upon God for all temporal needs, being without a home, earthly possessions, or humanly provided support, was a condition that called for the exercise and tended toward the development of great faith in God. In the conquering of unbelief, his habit of incessant prayer had no small part. If all the instances of remarkable answers to his prayers were contained in a book, it would doubtless be a goodly-sized volume. Many of them, however, are hidden in obscurity or lost in oblivion.

His prayers alone were most remarkable; for the infinitesimal, the wonderful, and the seemingly impossible things he frequently asked for were astounding. Every condition of human need was spanned by his simple, mighty faith. When he prayed, prayerful and believing saints were some times astonished, and when God answered, they were amazed beyond reason. His admonition to all was to "talk faith and pray faith."

His experience in procuring money for traveling and other expenses in answer to prayer, and his faith and trust in God were so simple and great, that it did not seem to greatly concern him when his pocket-book was empty and he felt the call of the Spirit to immediate departure for other points of labor. Nor was he much concerned, or his faith vacillating, if the Lord deferred providing for his fare until he was on the train en route. In going from place to place, his part in the will of God was carried out promptly and splendidly, and the Lord never permitted him to be disappointed because of lack of means to travel.

 

Faith as firm as Gibraltar

 

He was once assisting in a revival-meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, and ending his labors there, was led to go to a certain place in New York state. As it was not customary for him to receive collections in meetings where he labored, but was ever honored with the Pauline experience of being "poor yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing all things," he left that meeting without money. But his faith was as firm as Gibraltar, and had a monetary valuation equivalent to the greatest exigency. Following the leading of the Spirit, he proceeded toward the railroad depot. On his way there he had to cross a bridge, and as he walked prayerfully along over the stream he was suddenly approached by a stranger who accosted him and said, "I feel as though I ought to give you five dollars," and forthwith taking the money from his pocket, handed it to him. Mr. Barrett thanked the gentleman, who without further conversation bade him "good morning."

 

 

Instances of Divine Healing

 

The special gift of divine healing apparently had no part in Mr. Barrett's equipment for service in the Lord's work. However, many persons were healed in answer to his prayers. In that respect, for one who did not have that gift, his faith was most remarkable. In receiving answers to prayer for his own afflictions, he was less fortunate perhaps than those for whom he prayed. That, however, is given as a matter of personal opinion.

A Free Methodist preacher once had a sick horse, which could not eat. Brother Barrett became greatly concerned about it. He said, "Let's pray," and got down on his knees; and in his simple way, he said: "O Lord, this horse is sick and can not eat its corn. Now Thou canst make it well, so it can eat all right; we ask it for Jesus' sake, amen.' The horse got well.

Rev. Edward M. Sandys writes: "While holding meetings at East Hickory, Pennsylvania, I was taken quite sick and had to close the meeting. I went to Tidioute to see a physician, thinking that I would have to have an operation performed. Taking an early morning train, I stopped at the home of Brother and Sister Milan Smith, arriving just as they were having morning prayers. Brother Barrett was there, and he prayed in his unique, earnest way for God to heal my body. Sister Smith caught the spirit of the prayer and cried, 'His body, Lord,' several times, clapping her hands. I felt a strange sensation go through my entire being. All pain left my body, and I had such a sense of being freed from physical infirmity. I went out doors and discovered that I was healed. That was my first experience in divine healing for the body. I returned to East Hickory and began revival services and God gave us a glorious revival."

 

 

An Account of the Dispersion of a Storm

 

At the second camp-meeting held at Tionesta, Pennsylvania, in the year of 1880, a most remarkable answer to Mr. Barrett's prayer was exhibited, in which a severe and disastrous storm was dispersed. One afternoon the congregation had assembled for the 2:30 o'clock service. The stand was filled with preachers, and Rev. E. P. Hart was to deliver the sermon. Just as he announced his text and began to speak, large drops of rain began to fall. A storm had been gathering for some time, and was heading seemingly straight for the campground. Vivid lightning flashes, accompanied by loud peals of thunder, rent the air, and the alarming apprehension of a fierce electric storm seized the minds of the people. However, for some unknown reason, the large congregation were motionless, except as the rain began to fall they hoisted a good many umbrellas. At that moment Brother Hart said calmly, 'I do not like to preach to umbrellas; Brother Barrett, please lead us in prayer.' The preachers all dropped upon their knees, and in a short, simple prayer, Brother Barrett asked the Lord to turn the storm aside, giving as reasons that the people had gathered to hear Brother Hart preach, and that much good might be done. As we arose from our knees, the rain ceased to fall on us. The storm divided and went on both sides of the camp-ground, devastating crops, trees, and bridges in its path on each side. The people remained in their seats and the sermon was resumed. But after speaking a few minutes, the astonished look on the faces of the people in the congregation, as they gazed at the storm on the right hand and on the left, and at the preachers, and especially at Brother Barrett, was noticed by him. He saw that he did not have their attention. Pausing a moment as he looked with his characteristic smile around on the people, he said softly, 'Don't be alarmed; this is not the first time I have witnessed direct answer to Brother Barrett's prayers.' From that time he had their attention, and preached one of the most powerful sermons to which I have ever listened. Many were the slain of the Lord that day, and eternity alone will reveal the good accomplished." (Rev. D. B. Tobey.)

 

Scared Out of a Mine and Saved in Answer to Prayer

 

During a revival-meeting at Braddock, a coal miner, who had backslidden from God, was made the subject of Mr. Barrett's prayers with marvelously quick results. Mr. Barrett inquired one day of the miner's wife how her husband was getting along spiritually. She said he was not making any effort to recover his lost experience, and asked him to pray for her wayward companion. "We, will pray for him now," said Mr. Barrett, and getting on their knees he asked the Lord to send pungent conviction upon him, and to save his soul, including in his prayer these words, "Bring him out of the mine immediately if Thou hast to scare him out." In a short time some one was heard at the door, and the miner walked in. Upon being asked as to the reason for his coming home at such an hour when other miners were still working, he replied, in a voice that betrayed deep agitation, that he had heard noises in the mine as though it were going to cave in and was afraid to remain any longer. Mr. Barrett's prayer was further answered that evening, just as he expected that it would be, when the miner attended the services, went to the mourner's bench and was grandly saved.

 

The Elements Controlled

 

In the year 1898, at the Blairsville, Pennsylvania, camp-meeting, a heavy rain was averted in answer to the prayer of Mr. Barrett. At the beginning of the service one morning, it was evident to all present that a severe storm was brewing. The sky hung heavy with dark clouds, and just as the preacher began to speak, it commenced to rain, with every indication of a drenching storm. Umbrellas arose like pop-corn over a fire, and the people started away in squads. At that juncture, the district elder announced that the services would be concluded in the tabernacle, or large tent, whereupon Mr. Barrett sprang to his feet and said, "Everybody put down your umbrellas, and it will quit raining." He spoke as one having authority; for he uttered that command under inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The umbrellas went down, and the rain stopped so instantly that people paused and looked at one another in astonishment. The scattering crowds returned, sat down, and gave impressive attention to the preaching of the word. The promptness of the unsaved people and the formal professors in putting down their umbrellas was to many almost as remarkable as the immediate stopping of the rain.

 

A Photographer's Bill Collected in Answer to Prayer

 

In the year 1886 Brother Barrett came to Mt. Washington (Pittsburgh) to a meeting. Mr. Platt and I invited him to come to see us. He was very much pleased, and raising his hand he said, 'Thank God for a hitching-post in Pittsburgh. After that he came frequently, staying several days to rest. When about to leave our home, he would have prayer, and would ask the Lord to send in some of the old bills that were due my husband, and which we never expected to get, to repay us for our kindness to him. And I want to say that they were always paid. Sometimes when a bill was hard to collect, Mr. Platt would say we would have to get Brother Barrett to pray for its payment. (Mrs. H. E. Platt.)

 

The Preacher's Flour Barrel and Table Replenished

 

The instance given below is furnished by Rev. S. Sager: While I was on the Tionesta, Pennsylvania, circuit, just before I came down with nervous prostration, Brother Barrett came to my home one time. He had dinner with us, and after dinner had a wonderful time in secret prayer. As he was about to leave us, I prevailed on him to stay with me; for I was feeling bad. My wife then called me to one side and said, that I should not urge him to stay, as we did not have much in the house to eat. But I told her I felt that he ought to stay, and he did. The next morning as my wife was using the last flour in preparing breakfast, a grocery-man drove up to the house and left a sack of flour in the kitchen, and while we were yet at the breakfast table, a rap came at the front door. I opened the door, and a man stood there with a large basket of groceries. After asking him to come in, he said, 'I am in a hurry; will you please empty the basket.' Upon inquiry as to who had sent the groceries, he said that a wealthy lady, a member of the Presbyterian church, had sent them. She had been dreaming about us, and when she awoke, felt troubled, and immediately ordered the groceries to be sent to us. The basket contained five or six dollars worth of groceries."

 

A River Flood in Answer to Prayer

 

Rev. D. B. Tobey here recounts a most remarkable answer to prayer, which shows Mr. Barrett's extraordinary faith in God:

In the spring of 1879 I had a large fleet of lumber, containing about seven hundred thousand feet, that was stuck in the Ohio river two hundred and fifty miles below Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My family was with me on the raft and we waited about two weeks for a rise in the river; but the river got very low, and there was no sign of a flood. Finally, packing our goods, we went home, to Panther Rock, Forest county, Pennsylvania, leaving two men in charge of the raft. We reached Hickory, a small town a few miles from our home, on Friday evening, and found that it was the beginning of Presiding Elder R. W. Hawkins' quarterly-meeting. Rev. J. Barnhart was the preacher in charge and Brother Barrett was in attendance. The quarterly-meeting was a time of refreshing and power. On Monday morning, with my family I started for my mills at Panther Rock. Brother Barrett, who had learned the circumstances in connection with my raft, immediately afterward retired to the barn of Brother Keister to pray. Climbing into the hay mow, he asked God to send rain to take my lumber off the bar and permit me to deliver it to Louisville, Kentucky, and return in time for the coming camp-meeting to be held at Tionesta, Pennsylvania, the following August. After spending about two hours in prayer, he went out in search of Brother Barnhart. When he found him, both went to the barn and remained there a long time, during which several seasons of prayer followed. Finally, Brother Barrett sprang to his feet and exclaimed, Glory, glory! Hallelujah! I see Brother Tobey's raft gliding down the Ohio as if it were in a river of oil.' I knew nothing about the praying for a flood at that time.

That Monday night it began to rain. Tuesday I went to Tionesta; it still rained. Wednesday I went to Pittsburgh, and the rain continued to fall moderately. Taking a boat at Pittsburgh, I arrived that evening at the place where my raft was tied. Just as the boat came in sight of the raft, it was swinging off the bar. The line held it, and it swung to the shore; but the river did not rise another inch. There I was, four hundred miles from home, with a water-soaked monster of a raft, and only two men to run it. I needed twelve more men, experienced river men, and a pilot. The next day, Thursday, I spent with my two men fixing up the raft and getting ready to pull out. About nine o'clock in the forenoon a passenger steamboat came up the river, and to my surprise on board stood my favorite old pilot, Jim Martin. I hailed the boat, went out with a skiff, and took him off, and before night from different directions my men continued to come until my crew was complete. Friday morning we started on low water; some places there was not an inch to spare; and the weather was hot and the crew 'green,' which made conditions still more unfavorable. On Saturday afternoon we landed in a good eddy, where we stayed over Sunday. The following week we tugged on against wind and low water, and landed again on Saturday evening for the Lord's day, about twenty-five miles above Cincinnati. If the river had fallen four inches, and it was probable that it might have done so, we could not have floated over Buzzards' Roost, four miles below us, the following Monday. My crew were restless and sulky, and they blamed me for refusing to run on Sundays. But that hay mow prayer had moved the arm that holds the skies, and about four o'clock Sunday afternoon a black cloud appeared in the southwest; and on Monday morning we sailed forth on four feet more water than we had when we tied up on Saturday. And we finally ran into Louisville without a mishap, on twenty- five feet of water, -- a veritable fulfillment of Brother Barrett's vision in the hay-loft.

I consider that one of the most remarkable instances of direct answer to prayer, in all its details, that I ever knew. It shows how God will control even the elements and the actions and course of wicked men and send them where He will; for He sent those men to me on that memorable Thursday in answer to the prayers of His humble, obedient servant.

Mr. Tobey returned from Louisville, Kentucky, in time to attend the camp-meeting, as Brother Barrett had requested in his prayer.

About the close of the camp-meeting Brother Barrett consented to let Brother Barnhart tell me about the prayer-meeting in the barn. How vividly I could look back and see the hand and Spirit of God in all that had transpired.

 

From: THE HAPPY ALLEGHENIAN, The Story of Clifford B. Barrett By M. L. Rhodes, No date.

 

 

Index